An Focal Ar An tSráid

A joint party inquiry into events surrounding the collapse of the Irish banking system started this week. It’s expected to run for a year, with total cost estimates conservatively put at around €6 million. What do you think?


“Six Million? Sure they could have a house on Shrewsbury Road for that.”

(Kevin Burke, flyer distributor)

sraid“Yeah but what if in the end, the inquiry absolved us of any liability for what private banks blew gambling on the U.S. real estate market? You have to see it as a potential €80 billion return on a €6 million stake. It’s what the pros call a value bet.”

(Christine Linehan, ticket machine emptier)

timmy“Six million seems like far too much to be spending on a joint party. Even a year-long one.”

(Peter Wavin, left, SEO specialist)

Irish Boxing Fan Conflicted About Traveller, Female, Protestant-dominated Golden Age.

Andy_Lee-530x317“Why doesn’t that redheaded guy over there look more ecstatic?”

With freshly crowned middleweight champion Andy Lee adding another Irish world title to those already held by Carl Frampton and Katie Taylor, boxing enthusiast Mark Scully has spoken of his relative happiness at the success being enjoyed by his compatriots at the highest level of the sport.

“There’s no doubt we’re in the middle of an outstanding era for boxing in Ireland. As long as you factor in the big wins by Protestants from the North. And Travellers. And girls”, he said.

“Don’t get me wrong, I never want any of them to lose. It’s just I feel sometimes I’m on the outside looking in.”

Belfast man Frampton took the IBF super-bantamweight belt after a hard fought 12 rounds against Spain’s Kiko Martinez in September. Then just last month, Bray’s Taylor successfully defended her world amateur title for a record fourth time. To round out a big year, the unfancied Lee pulled out a win via sixth round stoppage in Las Vegas at the weekend against pre-fight favourite, Matvey Korobov.

Doorstep Bible Thumpers

“I had been tempted to get tickets for Belfast. Carl is such an amazing talent”, admitted Scully.

“But you’d never know who you might find yourself sitting beside up there.”

Frampton had a stellar amateur career before turning professional, winning Irish Senior titles at two weights, and taking silver for Ireland at the European Championships in 2007.

“Like, Nordie is one thing, but not even Catholic? Although I suppose I genuinely am happy for him, and in a way I’m trying to be happy about it for myself as well”, Scully said.

“And what can you say about Katie? Five-time world champ. Olympic Gold. No getting away from it, she’s some girl.

“As in, not a man. Some kind of a Christian, too, I heard.”

Boston. Strong. Boy.

Unsure as to where he would place the recent accomplishments of the trio on an all-time Irish boxing greats list, Scully was quick to point out that while heavyweight legend John L. Sullivan was born in Massachusetts, his father hailed from Kerry and his mother from Westmeath.

“I mean, I’ll probably be heading to Limerick anyway with a Tricolour for Andy’s civic reception, you know? We can all be so proud of what he achieved in Vegas on Saturday. At least I think we can, can’t we?

“Can we?”

Jilted Generation

With boxing traditionally seen as the island’s most inclusive area of sporting endeavour, as well as being coincidentally its most successful on the world stage, Scully conceded that his seeming ambivalence towards these recent victories was possibly the result of a subconscious reluctance to move with the times.

“Maybe I’m still just stuck in the ’90s. Collins, say, now there was a fella everybody could get behind regardless of their living arrangements, religion or gender, right? The Celtic Warrior. With the wolfhounds and tweed suits, and shamrocks shaved into the side of his head. He was perfect.

“Perfect, Scully whispered.

“But Carl, Katie and Andy are okay too, I suppose”, he sighed.


Silly Arse To Open Breakfast Cereal Café On South William Street.

imageCeltic Phoenix? Harbo says the nightmare’s over and he’s ready to sell cornflakes.

Renowned Dublin Web 2.0 mover-and-shaker, Niall Harbison, has revealed plans to open Lovin Flake, the capital’s first Breakfast Cereal Café.

“It’s going to be totally fucking savage. Whopper. Game changer”, enthused the 34 year old.

“I suppose I’ve always been super passionate about this fantastic little city, and right now I’m super passionate about obscure brands of breakfast cereal. But then who isn’t? If you’re not, then you’re a fucking loser in my book, and you should be ashamed of yourself. Standing on the sidelines criticizing the pro-active, positive thinkers who are pulling us out of this recession. Fucking keyboard warrior.”

Car Crash

To give the venture his full attention, Harbison will be stepping back from his role as CEO at Lovin Dublin, the Dublin-based foodie culture website he started by accident in 2013.

Whether the process of making mashed potato is being explained step-by-step with pictures to Irish people by a contributor, or Harbison himself is listing the symptoms of a hangover, Lovin Dublin, remains, he argues, “a whopper relevant online resource. Well, at least for the kind of person who would actually sign up to our new-post-alert mailing list.”

It’s this very same tried and tested brand of good humoured, energetic originality that Harbison will be bringing to Lovin Flake, he says.

“I think we can be as great as Melbourne or New York, or even some of the edgier London districts. But if people like me aren’t prepared to belatedly ape already dead overseas trends, then we’re in serious danger of looking like a total fucking backwoods to outsiders.

Artificial Resuscitation

“And yeah, probably you’ll get some anonymous pricks whining on Boards or wherever, but we don’t want fuckheads like them coming in the shop anyway.

“Just get me their IP addresses. We’d see how big they are then.”

Harbison’s forceful yet confused opinions on subjects as diverse as sandwiches, Dublin 8 and heroin addiction have won him his reputation as a person who will quickly retract a claim if it generates enough negative publicity, but then publicly reaffirm the same claim if given subsequent encouragement. And then retract it again.

“Hey, it’s a fast moving world. I just try to ride the waves”, he reasoned.

They Might Be Tech Giants

“I mean, a couple of years ago if you told potential buyers that 70 Mavens were following your Facebook page and you had the phone number of an NCAD student with two digital camcorders, you could flog the whole thing to them as a package for a couple of million. As long as you kept repeating terms like ‘Tech’ and ‘Metrics’ and ‘UPI’.

“You can’t do that anymore. So now it’s marshmallows on Ricicles. Same principle. And anyway, opening a boutique cornflake restaurant is something I’ve wanted to do since, I don’t know, last weekend?”

Harbison believes the timing is perfect. He feels a ready-made, painstakingly honed clientele of thousands exists for Lovin Flake in the form of his Lovin Dublin ‘community’.

“My site has repeat visitors. We write up lists of pubs that have a fireplace. We tell people they should put frozen grapes in their white wine if the wine isn’t cold enough. I repeat – repeat visitors. Trust me, they’ll be amenable to the idea of breakfast cereal as a lifestyle statement.”

Almond Milk

The former Conrad Gallagher protegé says he is confident he can source enough boxes of South Korean Count Chockula (as well as the attendant 1980’s advertising paraphernalia) to agree terms on a recently wound down Pop-Up beside the Powerscourt Centre by early next year.

“Assuming some Public Sector dinosaur with an axe to grind doesn’t put the kybosh on it.

“You’d fucking think they’d have better things to be doing, wouldn’t you?”, he continued.

“I mean, I love sharing simple recipes with people, and I love cooking for rich people on their yachts. But I also want my own fucking yacht. I hope that with Lovin Flake I’ve finally managed to somehow unite these disparate strands of my personality in one rock-solid, game-changing concept retail experience.

Coconut Water

“I’d say I can probably get four, five Euros for our ‘Fucking Tiny’ bowl of Smurfberry Crunch. Tenner for a large serving – we’ll probably call it ‘The Shitload’. Maybe another two on top if they want milk. But more for almond milk.

“Everyone’s saying almond milk is whopper.”

Harbison went on to point out the striking core similarities between being head chef at Lloyd’s Brasserie, selling a media agency at the height of the madness and importing a supposedly special sort of Coco Pops from Argentina.

“Misplaced inferences of elitism and insincere positivity have always been two compulsories at the Harbo School of Business. I fail to see how these elements will not transfer well into the day-to-day running of Lovin Flake”, he predicted.

Haters Gonna Tweet

“Unless some prat gets a hate campaign going on Twitter. And I’m the one creating jobs here! Paying fucking tax to keep them all in whatever it is they spend their poxy dole on!”

He was also quick to rubbish conjecture that Lovin Flake might be quickly sold on to unassuming investors after a big opening push for a grossly inflated price by the end of summer 2015.

“No no. This one’s definitely a keeper. I like to think it could become a hub for our rising class of Social Media and Branding creatives.

“I might do one on Capel Street too.”


Christmas Injury Crisis Deepens For Group Of Dublin Drinking Buddies


Holohan and his friends all agree that now is the time to put up or shut up.

An unfortunate series of Festive Season mishaps has already left huge doubt hanging over the likelihood that a crew of recreational city centre drinkers will be able to field a decent turnout at their New Year’s Eve location of choice in a few weeks’ time.

“There’s nothing I’d like better than to be able to say with certainty that twenty of us will be giving it socks at the Fade Street entrance to Hogan’s around five to twelve a fortnight from now”, explained Paypal accounts executive James Holohan.

“Jägerbombing, pulling wing mirrors off cars, shouting at strangers, that sort of stuff. But at the moment we’d be lucky to have eight first choice drinkers fit by then.”

Remarking upon their collective desire to match the “clearly raised intensity levels all over town” throughout the pre-Christmas period, he said his friends had lost sight of the need to nonetheless keep their instincts on a tighter rein.

Rocker’s Bar

“In separate incidents on the same Tuesday night, Flood lands badly jumping off a table in Whelan’s only an hour after Shane has gone down like a sack of spuds trying to get out of the basement in Bruxelles. What are the chances of that?”

“So that’s Flood out with suspected damage to his Anterior Cruciate, and Shane gimping around with meniscus trouble. Of course we’re hoping it’s not a complete tear, we’ll just have to see what the doctors say about it.

“I mean, you can’t sue a basement for having a staircase, right?”

Had A Few

The group’s cohesion had been suffering on recent midweek sessions, Holohan said, due to the enforced absence of some of their bigger names.

“Last Thursday, a couple of us really kind of went to sleep near the end. Well, literally went to sleep. Schoolboy errors aren’t acceptable when you’re looking to push forward as a unit, even if the Grand Social does have comfy chairs.

“And it never would’ve happened if Col Murphy hadn’t been home nursing the fractured cheekbone and jaw hematoma he sustained somewhere on Camden Street the previous Friday.”

“There was a lady actually hoovering around me, and the bar staff were already changed and walking out the door.”

Cautiously Upbeat

It’s not all doom and gloom, though. Holohan pointed out that a few lessons had been learned, and big improvements made in other areas.

“We’re all much more aware nowadays of concussion, so say somebody hears a nasty smack when Deego falls down the steps on the way into Coppers, you can be sure we’re all keeping an eye on him for the first few in there.

Or even myself. I live within five minutes’ walking distance of College Green, but at this time of the year we’re generally talking about three hours if I’m left to my own devices. Sometimes the smart call is to allow yourself be carried to a taxi.

“Concussion is just bad news for everybody”, Holohan said, cradling a grotesquely swollen left thumb.

One Less Car Window

“Put my fist through the passenger window of a 07KY Micra on Wednesday. But those sort of knocks go with the territory.”

It’s attention to the seemingly minor details, however, that can make all the difference between a trouble-free, 14-hour bender and being barred from a favoured premises just two drinks in, maintained Holohan.

“On a surface like Neary’s carpet, for example, it’s easy to become complacent. I mean, it’s not like you’re ever going to find yourself skidding around there, Hartigan’s-style. Well, not upstairs anyway.

“But carpet brings its own challenges. I don’t know how many times in the last month I’ve turned away from the counter up there with my hands full and stubbed a toe on the Burgundy shag pile.

“And yeah, maybe you can say ‘Hey, I just lost my footing. It’s one of those things’, but at our level that won’t wash.

“It’s inexcusable at this time of the year to be coughing up a round of pints. But the Chatham vibe can make you overthink it. Mindfulness and concentration really are key. Just staying in the moment, you know?”

“What we need to do between now and Stephen’s Day is cut out the silly mistakes. Batten down the hatches for a bit. Maybe get into a snug somewhere next weekend, or even take over the Dawson Lounge for a night.”

Rest. Ice. Compression. Elevation.

Summing up the situation, Holohan claimed that the capital’s drinking landscape is a very different one to that remembered by his father, or even his older brothers in their various drinking primes.

“The hangovers are getting bigger, any fool can see that. And recovery time’s a scarce commodity in December anyway. So we’re really getting hit from both sides.

“And the last thing in the world I want to do is make excuses, but on our current form myself, Diggesy, Craig, Dermo, Paddy and all the rest of the boys have to ask ourselves some hard questions. Is the fire really burning? Do we still want it badly enough? Are we going to stand up and be counted? Get out there and put the fear of God into someone?

“I’m not completely sure anymore whether it is. Or whether we do. Or whether we are. Or whether we will”, he said.

“But I hope I’m wrong.”

Water Demo Organizer’s Uncommitted Approach To Pronouncing `30´ and `40´ Blamed For Turnout Figure Confusion


Many? Lots of? Definitely several people at yesterday’s Water Charge demonstration.

Difficulty in establishing an accurate figure for the attendance at yesterday’s Anti Water Charges demonstration in Dublin has been blamed partly on the unwillingness of certain protest group spokespeople to physically voice certain numbers, it has been learned.

Chairman of Dublin-based protest group H2-Whoa!, Mark Byrne, admitted after his live interview with local radio station Spin103.8 that the estimate of “at least 20,000 righteously indignant citizens whose voices will not be silenced” he quoted for his interviewer had certainly erred on the conservative side.

“We’d all agree it was definitely more than twenty thousand, that’s for sure”, he said.

Bleedin’ Low-ids

But I just have a hard time listening to myself pronounce ‘thirty’. I mean, I don’t think I pronounce it wrongly, per se, but whenever I say ‘thirty’, it feels to me I get stared at like I’ve two heads. I suppose I just need to settle on one version and then stick with it, no matter who I think is listening.

Depending on the audience it can go anywhere from a classic soft English ‘Th’ with the soft Irish ‘t’ all the way through to a hard ‘th’ followed by the American-sounding ‘urdy’. Ugh. How am I meant to be taken seriously?

I’m hardly going to go down the ‘tourty’ road, am I? Come on.

“Don’t get me started on ‘forty’, either. Fawrdy? Forshy? Fowerthy? No chance I was going there. Thing is, it probably was about forty.”

Foy-iver De Tree Tobler-owins

Byrne explained his nervousness about pronouncing particular numbers was then compounded by the desire to retain his credibility as a person capable of counting.

“Fifty I’d normally have felt relatively safe with, and it wouldn’t even have been a big exaggeration. But yesterday for some reason, right when they asked me to comment on the turnout, all those wrapping paper sellers on Henry Street suddenly flashed in my head and I got worried I’d be alienating a chunk of people by not saying ‘feefty’.

“Don’t ask me why.”

So that gets us to ‘sixty’ which nobody can mess up. Put ten random Irish people in a room and they’ll all say ‘sixty’. But there was no way there were close to sixty thousand people there, right? People would have thought I was nuts.


“Though I wish there had been, it’s just one of those perfect numbers we all agree on. Or how about a simple ‘half a million’. Yes”, he said.

“That would’ve been even better.”

Byrne stated that when he writes up his post about yesterday’s events for the H2-Whoa! blog after work this evening, he’ll probably put the number at around 43,000.

Byrne also outlined plans to emigrate to Spain in 2017, shortly after he turns 29.

Meanwhile, a representative of the Gardaí Síochána this morning put yesterday’s attendance figure at “Bouha couple ha hunderd, now fuck off”.